Ireland implicated in match-fixing claims

Thursday 28 November 2013 19.42
Ireland has been implicated in match-fixing
Ireland has been implicated in match-fixing

A newspaper investigation into match-fixing has uncovered claims Irish soccer games were fixed by an international betting syndicate.

According to the Daily Telegraph, while claiming that he could fix games almost anywhere in the world, the alleged fixer said: “I do Australia, Scotland. Ireland. Europe. World Cup. World Cup qualifier."

It is not clear whether he was referring to domestic or international matches. 

The Football Association of Ireland has said there is no indication of any Irish involvement in the match fixing investigation by the UK's National Crime Agency. 

An FAI spokesman said the association takes the issue of match fixing very seriously and is in regular contact with Interpol, Europol and UEFA on the matter.

The FAI says nothing has been presented by the authorities in relation to the current investigation.

The revelation comes as two men suspected of involvement in football match fixing have been charged with conspiracy to defraud, the National Crime Agency in the UK said.

The Crown Prosecution Service's Organised Crime Division is satisfied it is in the public interest to authorise charges of conspiracy to defraud, an NCA spokesman said.

Chann Sankaran, a 33-year-old Singapore national, and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, a 43-year-old with dual UK and Singapore nationality, have been remanded in custody and will appear at Cannock Magistrates' Court in Staffordshire tomorrow.

The NCA said the men, who are alleged to be members of an international illegal betting syndicate based in Singapore, are among six people arrested earlier this week as part of an NCA investigation.

A seventh man has since been arrested and he and four others were bailed today pending further inquiries.

The charges allege that between November 1 and November 26, "at City of Manchester and elsewhere, the two men conspired together with each other and others to defraud bookmakers by influencing the course of football matches and placing bets thereon".

The maximum sentence for this offence is ten years' imprisonment.

It emerged earlier that a former Premier League footballer is among the six people held as part of the investigation.

The suspects are reported to include three current footballers.

Delroy Facey, 33, did not turn up to play for his club Albion Sports as scheduled against Athersley Recreation in the NCEL Premier League last night, according to the club's secretary Jaj Singh.

Mr Singh said: "He was due to come but didn't turn up. He was named on the sub's bench but was a no show. I have no idea. He's been with us about three months and is a cracking lad."

The sting claims claims undercover reporters discussed the possibility of influencing the scores and outcomes of lower-league English games for as little as £50,000 (€60,038).